After saying “yes” to many, many acts – some funny, some feel-good, some weird, and some that were truly and undeniably talented, the judges had to weed-out which ones would move on to the Live Shows in the “America’s Got Talent” Judge Cuts episode. “America’s Got Talent” judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and new judge actress Sofia Vergara, had to review all of the acts again by playing back the auditions via a large screen outside in what appeared to be the Universal Studios backlot.
After arriving one-by-one in stylish classic vehicles (except for Howie who pulled-up in a chicken car), the judges had to review all the Acts that they pushed through to the Judge Cuts rounds and eliminate nearly half of them to move on to the Live Shows. According to judge and executive producer Simon Cowell’s calculation, surprisingly the judges said “yes” to one hundred acts this season. The final acts to move on to the Live Shows are forty-four.
When the judges couldn’t decide on a definite “yes” or “no” in reviewing the acts, those undecided acts were told they had to perform again for the judges on another day in order for them to decide their fate. Out of the ten acts that were called back to perform again, the judges had only five slots left for the Live Shows, meaning that only half of those acts recalled would make it through to the live round.
Easing the load just a little bit were the Golden Buzzer acts that were chosen earlier this season by the judges and host Terry Crews. Each judge got a Golden Buzzer to give to an act that they were so impressed by, they pushed them straight into the Live Shows. Those Golden Buzzer acts are: “Voices of Our City Choir” (Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer), Roberta Battaglia (Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer), Cristina Rae (Heidi Klum Golden Buzzer), Brandon Leake (Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer), and W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew (Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer).
Some of the many acts that were called and told “yes” they’d be moving onto the Live Shows remotely through what looked like the Zoom application included: singer Archie Williams who was wrongly incarcerated for 37 years; singing twins duo Double Dragon; memorable sword swallower Brett Loudermilk who got Sofia Vergara involved in his act, and also gave the judges and the world a view of his underwear amid celebrating the Live Shows news; drummer Malik Dope; animal act Pork Chop Revue; dance act Dance Town Family. See ALL 44 Acts Listed Here!
During the Judge Cuts episode, it was revealed that Elton John called Archie Williams after seeing him perform his song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” during his AGT audition.
There were ten acts that the judges just weren’t 100% in agreement on and needed to see them perform again. These acts were told they’d have to make another go at getting onto the Lives and they’d reconvene with them at a later date. What the acts brought back were videos of themselves performing their acts which some looked like professional music videos. Then, after the playback of the video was done, these acts were shown running back inside their homes. Lol. It was a very creative and funny way of responding to the pandemic stay-at-home orders while still trying to uphold work responsibilities at the same time.
Simon & Maria were first up. Judge Simon Cowell told the young kids that they look “20 feet tall” because they’re on the biggest screen he’s ever seen. They are from Columbia and their act is Salsa dancing. They said they to be the “first kid dancers to win America’s Got Talent.” Sofia complimented their outfits, which they said were also made in Columbia just like their first audition. Simon reacted to their second audition, the fact that they’re so young and still so determined, means “a huge amount” to him. He also added that he thought this routine was better than the last. After they left, Howie asked Simon about that comment, Simon answered because spending so much time in isolation, their music and dancing really made him happy.
Craig, who’s 35-years-old, commented to the judges that he’s from Scotland “where the Loch Ness monster is.” Craig performed a Hula Hoop routine outside in a very colorful signage setting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandel said the most important thing is not to just get through the routine, but to “pop” as well. Simon called it “a fantastic routine…it was just fun.” Simon later told the judges that he thinks the show needs more of Craig right now.
Max re-visited the judges from MGM Las Vegas. Max first met the judges via an online audition. He said he’s spent the last few years honing his skill-set. Now that Max can’t perform due to the pandemic, he said he feels like he’s lost part of himself. He’s been working on his craft for the past 20 years and now he has to bring it in order to be on the AGT Lives. Max performed his trick with a view of the Las Vegas strip behind him.
Max involved Simon in his routine which required him to connect with Simon and read into his thought process. Max asked Simon a number of questions. The first one was to name a trait that he admires the most in another person. Simon’s answer was “loyalty.” Then, he asked Simon what’s the one thing he’d never sell. That was his first picture of his son after he was born lying on his chest. Then, Max asked him who Simon was feeling the most connected with at specific times during the routine. His connections went from Terry, to Sofia. Then Simon told a story about his first car racing set. Then felt a connection with Howie. Simon had a perfect match of matching the judges photos together. Then Max took out a folded piece of paper with all of Simon’s answers to his questions on the paper. The judges were amazed beyond expectations and it seemed at that moment that Max was sure to go through to the lives.
Shaquira had some somber news that her job had closed-down since she was last on AGT. Shaquira sang “Redneck Woman” Country song for her first audition. She said she felt an ounce of confidence for the first time after her audition. “This dream is so close, I can literally taste it” and she said she’s doing everything to cross that finish line. Shaquira sang Pop song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. Simon told her she lit-up the entire screen and “absolutely commanded it.” He told her she has an amazing talent. Heidi told her she’s a Country star. Simon asked her if the timeline of the pandemic had an effect on the song choice. Shaquira answered yes it did. Howie said the competition is above and beyond and it’s going to make their voting tough.
Ty is a comedian and mentioned that last time he was there, Heidi wasn’t and heard that she really “likes” comedians, referring sarcastically to the fact that Heidi is typically tough on comedians. Heidi responded that she loves funny comedians! Ty said he’s been dreaming for years about being an entertainer and from being in the military and a pharmacy tech, “it’s been a long journey.” Ty said he’s always tried to be a great dad. The jokes that he wrote for the Judge Cuts, he admits were not “time tested.” He has two daughters. Ty performed a comedy set in front of a small audience in his driveway. Heidi told him he’s very funny and “a very likable person.” Sofia liked what he did. But, thinks she laughed more during his first audition. Simon agreed and told him his first routine was better. He could tell he was nervous, which tells him he cares. On the plus side, Simon noted that the world needs cheering-up right now.
The brothers are fifteen and seventeen years old. Simon thought their energy was amazing but not a huge fan of the harmonica. Simon asked if they think it will be good enough to make the finals. They answered they do. Before AGT, the biggest stage they had performed on was their high school. They got four “yes’s” at their first AGT audition. They aspire to be as big as Shawn Mendes and want a spot in the Live Shows. The brothers performed very familiar and popular song “Every Day I’m Shuffling.” Sofia said they make it a little sexy. Simon asked if singing will be part of their act in the future. They answered “yes.” Simon wasn’t gave them negative feedback by stating they looked uncomfortable with their singing which “lasted half a second.”
Nolan Neal is thirty-nine years old and from Nashville, Tenn. Sofia said she thinks he has a really inspirational story. His first AGT audition, he said, was “hugely challenging” for him. His dad told him he was going to take his life. Then Nolan woke up the next day to his dad being gone. Nolan, who’s a recovering alcoholic, said he hadn’t touched a drink since. Nolan said he sang his heart out at his first AGT audition. He received positive feedback from a lot of struggling alcoholics who wrote to him that he’s inspirational. Nolan performed outside beside a bonfire. He sang “You’ve Got the Love” by Florance + The Machine. Simon told him he has great taste and made the song his own, stating he made it sound current. Nolan said it feels good, the promises coming true in recovery. Simon told Nolan that he’s made the judging hard tonight and he now “hates” him.
On a side note, when Sofia asked Simon about his “Baby,” Simon told her that it’s amazing how much he’s learned from his son during quarantine by looking at life through his eyes.
Ryan said he changed his last name from Nicks to Tricks. Ryan said he works as a sewage street working and hasn’t stopped working during the pandemic. It’s a job that pays the bills. He wants to make sure his kids have a better life and show them that anything is possible. With Judge Cuts, anything is possible. He promised to show the judges something that they have never seen before and hopefully it will get him to the live shows. Ryan did a bit with Alesha Dixon who was on the judges panel of “Britain’s Got Talent” and “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” Ryan proceeded to read her mind by showing her the name of the friend that she was thinking about written on his hand. Ryan then was able to transcribe a text message on Alesha’s phone. The judges were amazed. Howie said he enjoyed it more than the first in-person performance. Simon told him “well-done.”
In their fist audition Simon said the singing and the dancing, “was terrible.” Howie buzzed them in their first audition. They wanted to prove Simon wrong this second time around. In this Judge Cuts audition the Ninja Twins sang Justin Bieber song “Yummy.” Heidi said they definitely bring the fun to the pool party. Sofia said she doesn’t know what they are, but they’re super entertaining. Simon said it was so bonkers and crazy that he actually liked them. “They’re hilarious,” stated Simon. He added that they were “hysterical.”
Simon told the other judges that he’s met Jonathan before on another show and it’s the closest thing he’s seen to someone killing themselves.
Jonathan stated that he films anything that’s dangerous. He’s broken his leg, and has had lots of burns. He said it’s really hard for the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. Because having a live arrow coming at you, you have to get it right the first time. Jonathan stated that there’s no trickery. “Everything is real” and he’s going to have to push himself more than ever. “All I’m going to be concentrating on is surviving. And if I manage that then I’m going to concentrate on getting to the live shows,” said Jonathan.
In his act, he showed his most prized possession, a book with all his tricks in it. He had his assistant April pour water into an empty cup on top of his head and gave Howie the task of telling him when the cup is full. He pulled out a bow and arrow that shot at 120 feet per second. He shot it at a balloon that April was holding in her mouth. He set up a contraption of arrows timed to go off at different times after the water was drained from each bottle that set them off. They were all aimed directly at him while he was blindfold. The trick, he had to know when and which way to dodge the arrows in order not to get hit!! The stunt went off without a hitch. The judges were beyond amazed by his act and Simon said “it’s the most dangerous, craziest acts we’ve ever had across the board.”
Howie said this is the hardest part of the show. First-up was kid Salsa dancers Simon and Maria again. Sofia told them the news that they are moving to the Live Shows. Next, Simon told the harmonica act Brothers Gage and Hula Hooper, Craig Reid that “there were other people better than you,” and they wouldn’t be moving-on.
Simon told them not to give-up. Daredevil Jonathan was next. Howie reminded him that there are only five spots and more than five acts deserve to go on. He was one of those five acts going to the Lives! Shaquira was up next. Heidi told her she couldn’t have done better. They have so many amazing singers and it’s tough to only pick five. She was selected to go on to the Lives.
Next – Ninja Brothers, Ty, and Ryan Tricks were all told they wouldn’t be going to the Lives. This is a tough call because we only have five spots, and they were not moving on.
As for Nolan Neal and Max Major, Simon told them that they both WON’T be watching the show at home. Instead they’d be joining them in the Live Shows round.
See the Full list of the 44 acts going to the AGT Lives HERE!
NEXT WEEK: It’s been fifteen years of “America’s Got Talent” and this episode will bring back the 15 greatest acts of all time.